Volleyball claims Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational
AUSTIN, Texas -- A pair of Texas volleyball players - senior Bethany Howden (Austin, Texas) and sophomore Brandy Magee (Mission Viejo, Calif.) - recorded double-figure kills as the Longhorns defeated Liberty, 3-0 (30-14, 30-11, 30-19), to win the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational.
With the victory, UT improved to 7-0 on the season and set the school record for consecutive games won to start a season (21), as the squad has yet to surrender a game in 2004. Additionally, the team's 7-0 record is the best season start since the 1990 NCAA Elite Eight squad opened its season 26-0.
Liberty fell to 0-6 on the season with the loss.
LSU finished second in the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational, going 2-1, while Louisiana Tech (1-2) and Liberty rounded out the final standings.
Senior Mira Topic (Kastela Kambelovac, Croatia) earned tournament MVP honors and was joined on the all-tournament team by teammates Magee, Howden and freshman libero Alyson Jennings (Costa Mesa, Calif.), who was also named the tournament's Best Libero. LSU's Ivana Kuzmic and Regan Hood, Louisiana Tech's Joy Opka and Liberty's Rebecca Rudnick rounded out the all-tournament team.
"We had an excellent weekend and we played very well in all three matches," Texas head coach Jerritt Elliott said. "We had the opportunity to play everyone and get everyone some experience. We played well in the middle transitions, but we can be a lot better. This weekend was a great stepping stone to start Big 12 play this week (at Baylor on Wednesday, Sept. 15)."
Howden's 12 kills led the match as she finished with a .688 hitting percentage. Magee added 11 kills and a .600 hitting percentage, as well as two blocks. Topic had nine kills, six digs, one ace and four blocks (including three solos) in the winning effort.
Liberty's Jennifer Belk led the Flames with nine kills.
Texas jumped out to a 16-4 lead in the first game, buoyed by a six-point run on freshman Michelle Moriarty's (Houston, Texas) serve. The second game was much of the same as UT pulled out a 12-3 advantage, courtesy of five-straight points on Moriarty's serve. The 11 points surrendered by UT in the second game was the lowest point total by an opponent in a game this season. In the final game, Liberty stayed close until 18-12, when UT went on a 7-3 run to put the game out of reach. A final Liberty attack error closed out the game, the match and the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational title for the Horns.
The Horns continue the season on Wednesday, Sept. 15, when they travel to Waco to face Baylor in a 7 p.m. match. Live stats will be available at TexasSports.com.
Final Tournament Results
Saturday, September 11